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Personal Annual Radiation Dose Calculator

We live in a radioactive world, and radiation has always been all around us as a part of our natural environment. The unit used in measuring our radiation dose is the millirem (mrem). The annual average dose per person from all natural and man-made sources is about 350 mrems, but it is not uncommon for any of us to receive more than that in a given year (largely due to medical procedures). Consequently, to protect health and safety, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has established standards that allow exposures of up to 5,000 mrem per year for those who work with and around radioactive material, and 100 mrem per year for members of the public (in addition to the radiation we receive from natural background sources).

Use this page to calculate your personal annual average dose.*

Where You Live

  1. Cosmic radiation (from outer space) at sea level (26 mrem)
  2. Select your elevation from sea level (in feet)
    See also the USGS Elevations of the 50 Largest U.S. Cities exit icon
  3. Select your area of residence (for terrestrial radiation from the ground)
  4. (7 mrem)

What You Eat, Drink, and Breathe

  1. Radiation in your body (240 mrem)**
    From food and water (40 mrem)
    From radon in the air (200 mrem)

Other Sources

  1. Weapons test fallout (1 mrem)***

Select from the following if you . . .

  1. ***
  2. ***

*The reduction in life expectancy from a dose of 1 mrem is about 1.2 minutes. This is equivalent to the reduction in life expectancy from crossing the street three times, taking three puffs on a cigarette, or consuming 10 extra calories (for a person who is overweight).

**This is the annual dose average.

***The value is actually less than 1.

NOTE: Some of the radiation sources listed in this chart result in an exposure to only part of the body. For example, false teeth result in a radiation dose to the mouth. The annual dose numbers given here represent the "effective dose" to the whole body.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, June 28, 2013